Guild Theater

33 W. 50th Street,
New York, NY 10020

Unfavorite 11 people favorited this theater

Showing 76 - 96 of 96 comments

chconnol on November 22, 2004 at 1:53 pm

RE: the downstairs boxoffice…one more question. The stairs that are on either side of it. Did these at one time lead up to the lobby of the building (not Radio City but the main Rock Center building)? Just curious…Right now the stairs go to a small landing and there is a door but it’s a janitor’s closet now.

RobertR on November 22, 2004 at 1:41 pm

Does anyone know in the days before computer box office systems how theatres with multiple box offices kept track of the seats left to sell? Was it as simple as doing the tally and calling each other?

chconnol on November 22, 2004 at 12:02 pm

TomR: that’s intriguing…that concourse entrance thing. So people would enter the Music Hall from inside the Rockefeller Center concourse to where? The lower level area of RCMH? Was this removed during the remodelling that took place a few years ago?

Thanks for the reply…that box office is funky looking right out in the hallway like that.

RCMH on November 22, 2004 at 8:06 am

This box office was once intended for use by the Music Hall. The idea was guests coming in via the the new 6th Avenue Subway would proceed directly to this box office. Directly opposite, behind a wall, is the old concourse entrance to the Music Hall. In the old day when movioe & stage show was the norm at the Music Hall, this was the entrance used by large groups. The old Rockefeller Center tour used to enter the theater via this entrance,

chconnol on November 22, 2004 at 7:45 am

Hope someone can help me figure this out. If you are in Rockefeller Center inside, downstairs on the lower concourse, right across the hallway from the GNC (Vitamin) Store, there is what looks like a box office of sorts with a set of stairs wrapping around it on either side. Like an idiot, one day I actually walked up thoses stairs and went up and came down the other side (I felt really stupid…). I though maybe this was the box office for The Guild but I don’t think so because it’s so far away from it. It’s obviously some kind of box office or ticket selling window but can anyone tell me what it was for? Radio City?

RCMH on November 11, 2004 at 9:46 pm

The Nautica store has closed and is being replaced by a make-your-teddy-bear store. The building, the former Associated Press Building, was landmarked by the city, which included the exterior features of the old theatre. The re-creation of the old screen curtain can still be seen through the shop windows.

jays on September 25, 2004 at 9:44 am

Wow! that’s amazing because I pass it every day and from the door before they covered the glass on the doors with paper you can see the former seating area and where the screen was. By the way why do the theatre owners or who ever is responsible for closing up a theatre for good always either put papers on the entrance doors or put some kind of covering on the dooway like smudge out the glass I don’t know if i"m saying it right but you can never see inside is this to prevent vandalism or something can somone explain.

dave-bronx™ on September 24, 2004 at 12:37 am

I haven’t seen it, but there are a lot of elements of Rockefeller Center that are landmarked, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was one of them. Usually a big retailer wants their own design and wouldn’t retain decor from a previous tenant unless their removal was prohibited by the lease. Landmarking makes the property owner responsible, who in turn must make sure the tenants also comply, so they write it in the lease.

jays on September 23, 2004 at 11:45 pm

the Nuatica shop which now occuppies this space is either closed or renovating becuse I see no activiy or manneqins in the window. It looked like Nuatica tried to keep a little of the look on the exterior and some on the interior because where the screen once stood there are store advertisements with a black masking on either side and curtains as well. like the old cinema can anyone confirm this.

RonMotta on September 20, 2004 at 1:46 pm

This was right across the street from NBC Studios. When I worked there as a Page, me and other pages would go to the movies if we got off early enough.

VincentParisi on August 17, 2004 at 1:27 pm

In the early 70’s when it played family fare I remember the Guild would get the spillover of the holiday crowds from Radio City. Yes, the Music Hall still had lines in the very early 70’s for their holiday shows. Kind of like what I heard about the 50’s. If the lines at the Music Hall were very long people would go to the Roxy instead. Imagine having such a choice!

kelley on August 17, 2004 at 12:44 pm

I remember this theatre when my family moved back to NYC around 1959. I saw THE MOUSE THAT ROARED among other films at this nice little theatre.

br91975 on August 17, 2004 at 11:33 am

They’ve got plenty of disposable income… and they’re apparently spending it somewhere else. Nautica announced last week that they bought out the remaining 12 years of their lease, pointing to the ever-so-fickle spending habits of teens as one of the main reasons behind their decision.

Camden on July 21, 2004 at 9:05 am

I think I saw the last film shown at this theatre, or one of them, which was a distressingly mild Albert Brooks comedy called “The Muse.” The theatre was excellent, but the seats and carpets were astonishingly threadbare given the theatre’s superb location, and now that I’ve read about the 25-year lease expiring, I finally understand why. Reminds me of Hong Kong being turned over to mainland China, although instead of a single hundred-year lease, it had successive 25-year ones. I was fascinated to learn on this site that the theatre started as a “newsreel house” (something I never even suspected existed; sort of the 1930s version of CNN, I guess). I don’t quite understand why the theatre wasn’t more successful toward the end, since the attendance seemed fairly sparse to me, given its wet-dream of a location smack in the very middle of Rockefeller Center. I miss the place, and resent the Nautica store every time I see it, which is several times a week.



stukgh on July 9, 2004 at 7:02 am

I believe that in its final years the Guild concentrated mainly on childrens' films and family fare.
My main Guild memory is of subwaying into the Manhattan to see “Planet of the Apes” which, if memory serves, had a very long run there.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 26, 2004 at 2:55 pm

I don’t believe the U.S. release of AIDA was of a subtitled print at all. While indeed sung in Italian, there were sporadic bits of “summarizing” English narration for each episode and no subtitles provided. The 1982 re-issue (same version) at the Guild was with reserved performances, but not reserved seats. The original opera was heavily truncated, with startling jumps, even within arias, where music was cut out. In his review for the New York Times for the 1954 opening, Bosley Crother referred to the then virtualy unknown Sophia Loren as “a handsome woman”!!!

againsam on February 4, 2004 at 1:18 pm

“Aida” was a revival. I remember it shown in the early 50’s. Renata Tebaldi did the singing and Sophia Loren was Aida. Lois Maxwell, the original “Moneypenny” was also in the film. You are right, the theatre was a gem. I remember seeing Frankenheimer’s “The Young Stranger” there in 1957

RobertR on February 4, 2004 at 8:42 am

I loved this theatre I first discovered it in the seventies when it ran a reserved seat engagement of an Italian version of Aida with Sophia Loren lip syncing to someone elses voice. It was made in the fifties and never released here until then. A truely bizzare film, I have not heard of it since then. If I am correct the distributor was 21st Century Distribution who released all those dubbed Italian horror films.

SwankyJohn on January 30, 2004 at 12:56 pm

This was a great little theater with a curved standing section in the back. It was a simple, sleek art deco theater with a lot of warmth. I miss it – the last film I saw there was the romantic comedy WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING.

William on November 15, 2003 at 9:29 am

The Guild Theatre’s address was 33 W. 50th Street.